NY Sports Club latest chain to seek bankruptcy protection

Business

FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2013 photo, a man walks past a shuttered New York Sports Club on Water St. in New York. Town Sports International Holdings Inc., the owner of New York Sports Club and Lucille Roberts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, as gym operators struggle to keep afloat amid nationwide shutdowns. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

The company that runs New York Sports Club and Lucille Roberts gyms filed for bankruptcy protection with COVID-19, still prevalent in many parts of the U.S., gutting membership rolls at fitness companies nationwide.

Gold’s Gym sought bankruptcy protection in May and 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide filed for bankruptcy in June. Many companies, including Planet Fitness, furloughed workers in order to conserve cash.

Town Sports International Holdings Inc., which also operates Washington Sports Club and Total Woman Gym and Spa, said Monday that it can no longer pay its debts.

The company lost $136 million during the first quarter this year, only a fraction of which included state- and city-mandated shutdowns of retail shops, gyms, salons, restaurants and bars. By the end of the three-month reporting period, 95% of Town Sports’ clubs had been closed.

Town Sports operates 185 clubs and serves 580,000 members, mostly in the Northeast.

Gyms have been allowed to reopen at a fraction of their capacity in some regions like the Northeast. Those who do go to gyms in New York City are required to wear a mask at all times and gyms can only operate at one-third capacity. Group fitness classes are still not permitted.

Yet with more than 33,000 COVID-19 related deaths in New York, most of them in New York City, thousands of one-time gym goers have taken their routines outdoors, or to their own homes.

Home fitness company Peloton reported a 172% surge in revenue during its most recent quarter and it doubled its subscribers. Bike shops in New York, as well as most outdoor fitness gear sellers, have been largely cleared out.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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